Italics When You Want Italics

Flower Conroy


       —For Mary Ruefle

Next that luciferous scarecrow M— said: 
Say what you mean & mean what you say; say what you

mean & mean what you say & I really think
she meant it.  Then she called me one of her beloved

idiots.  Because I retain
water but not information (I barely remember

being born), I take many notes.  
Sometimes I’ll flip

through a book & stumble upon a word
& whatever skeleton of a seahorse

word it is, it becomes
the needed word: pluvial; ice jam; glossolalic.  

It never fails.  I try to open the jar of pickles
right after I moist-

urize my hands.  O, she also said: You are trying so hard
to write poetry.  

I like to picture things instantly.  
              A poem is a configuration of linguistic energy.  

                            Blind me— 
                                          Blind me!  

Having reached infiltration capacity, 
the soil first turned to bed of mud     

then splintered, quartz-like, into hoarfrost.  
Here; here is a cage of

butterflies light slants through-through.


Flower Conroy is the author of the chapbooks Facts About Snakes & Hearts, The Awful Suicidal Swans, and Escape to Nowhere. Her poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in the American Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Gargoyle and others. She is the current Poet Laureate of Key West.